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The Past as Prologue: Aging Jewishly in Philadelphia

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Publication Date: January 2002

Publisher(s): Jewish Communal Service Association of North America

Author(s): Allen Glicksman

Series: Journal of Jewish Communal Service, 78:4

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Population and demographics (Ethnic and racial groups)
Population and demographics (Older people)

Keywords: Demography; Jewish Culture; Elderly

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


A review of data collected about the Jewish elderly as part of a recent community study shows how significantly the demographic characteristics of the Jewish elderly have changed in the past decades. We now have a generation of American-born—and mostly Philadelphia born— Jewish elderly, rather than a generation of immigrants. Perhaps more important, we have greater diversity than ever before among the elderly themselves. No longer do the Jewish elderly seem to be a homogeneous group—foreign born, Orthodox in practice, low income, and concentrated in just a few neighborhoods—which was the general picture (with some important exceptions) in decades past. Today there is diversity within every one of these dimensions.